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Teens & Unsupervised Internet: A Recipe for Disaster


The Internet is the greatest tool ever invented. You can get breaking news in an instant, check the weather forecast any time you want, send documents around the world in a matter of seconds, research a term paper without going to the library and even play a few games in your spare time. How did we ever survive before the Internet came along?

Yet…..

The Internet is the most dangerous tool ever invented. Today, stuff that used to be available only in the red light districts of large cities is easily accessible from the comfort of your own home.

Over the next few weeks this series of articles will take a look at the dangers teens face online and what you, as a parent, can do to protect them. This is not going to be some fluff piece that simply tells you the Internet is dangerous, kids can do bad things online, don’t let them use the Internet. I’m going to shock you, and maybe even offend you, with facts and real world examples of what teenagers are doing while online. Then I’ll show you exactly what you can do to protect your children.
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Is the Internet Really Dangerous?

Absolutely! I’ll be blunt… if you allow your teen or child unsupervised and unrestricted use of the Internet you might as well give them a loaded gun to play with and buy them a keg of beer. That may sound harsh, but it’s no more irresponsible.

An alarming percentage of teenagers are talking to strangers in chat rooms, posting inappropriate pictures of themselves on Facebook or MySpace and visiting pornography websites. These activities can lead to embarrassment on the mild side to abduction and even murder on the extreme end. Unfortunately, the ‘extreme end’ is becoming more common place every day.

I hope you’ll decide to become an informed parent. Starting next week we’ll take an in depth look at FaceBook, MySpace and other social networking websites and what goes on inside your child’s password protected account.

Tell your friends about this series and invite them to follow along. You can receive new article notifications via email by entering your email address on the right.
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5 Comments

  1. Agreed and sadly many parents do not use the parental controls provided.

    Even sadder is what adults do with the internet as in the case of Megan Meir:
    http://www.usatoday.com/money/topstories/2008-05-

    Then we have the incident of the teens video taping the beating of another teen and posting it on YouTube.

    Times have changed.

  2. Christian Forums (CF) "An online forums-based self-governing social networking community guided by Christian principles for everyone," was recently purchased by Escalate Media, a secular corporation.

    This is the largest Christian on-line meeting place, with over 200,000 members aged 13 to 113. CF contains over 7 millions topics (threads) for open discussion as well as an open chat room for kids. It doesn't sound like a place one would find full-color ads for gay/lesbian dating services, mail order brides, pornography, & satanic clothing, does it?

    Yet this is precisely what one finds since the website was sold to Escalate Media, a secular corporation, earlier this year. Viewers of all ages are assaulted by these obscene and satanic full-color photo ads with some near-by text that implores members to donate funds under the pretence that receiving said funds will make the licentious ads disappear.

    Despite an increase in membership and financial support over the last few months, viewers have seen an increase in the number of these controversial ads which seem to become more decadent with each passing day.

    While parents are diligently blocking out pornographic and obscene websites, this trusted "Christian" website is being corrupted by greed and is pandering to the lowest common denominators of our secular society. Now parents have one more website to put on the "prohibited" list.

    Numerous pleas by myself and other forum members have been met with stern warnings not to discuss the offensive Google photo ads. Members are advised to inform a site monitor whenever they see an offensive ad, yet not one documented case of an obscene ad being removed as a result of reporting has come to my attention. The Policy Manager is known as CaDan and can be contacted by typing his name in the search engine on-site.

    Escalate Media has had ample time to rectify the situation and has instead chosen to escalate (pun intended) its generation of revenue streams by allowing Google to corrupt its website with this filth. Some administrators have the gall to suggest that posters are responsible for the appearance of said ads because these ads are allegedly triggered by a Google search engine patrolling the site. It is time the website known as Christian Forums takes responsibility for these abominations that have defiled what was once a decent forum for Christians and seekers alike.

  3. This is so true. i am 18 and am going into ministry starting next year and this topic is the topic of many years of pain, lies, and mental anguish. for so many years i was so addicted to pornography my relationship with God disappeared almost altogether and i just felt horrible. and it truly is an addiction. the online availability was so great that my mind became more and more perverted and desensitized. i am still recovering from my addiction. In my faith through God and our Lord Jesus Christ i am recovering. but parents if you ever encounter your child looking at pornography or talking to someone over the internet who they do not know do not be soft on them. Be strict constantly monitor their internet behavior. Move the computer into a more family focused area such as the living room or somewhere where someone is always in. Stop the curiosity before it takes over. Also as to their friends, sadly you can not choose your childs friends. No matter how hard you try. Try and instill the morals and express how much of a sin things such as pornography is. i mean all sins are sins but explain to them how this dirties their mind.

    "how can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word and following its rules. I have tried my best to find you–dont let me wander from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that i might not sin against you." (Psalm 119:9-11)

    "Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and dont take your holy spirit from me. Restore to me again the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you." (Psalm 51: 10-12)

  4. The Internet is definitely a recipe for disaster if not used correctly, but there are great sites also where you can meet other believers and encourage each other and watch many cool videos and listen to great songs to be encouraged by. One site in particular is http://www.cross.tv.

  5. Yes, I am in agreement the internet is dangerous and that is why I have been teaching my children about the dangers and I also monitor thier usage.

    Thanks for the resources above.

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